Saturday, November 18, 2017
Having fun with a vintage Morgan Silver Coin Ad....
1. "Just Located!" What, again? Seems like every few weeks a huge number of Morgan Silver Dollars are discovered in an attic, a sunken Confederate warship, or under the 50-yard line at Giants Stadium (they were looking for Jimmy Hoffa, found these Morgan Dollars instead!) Seriously, how many times can they pull this same pitch?
2. "The most sought-after coins in American history." I'd like to see the raw data, please. What's the second-most sought-after coin? 9/11 Commemoratives? I hope so, 'cause I got five of those. I wanted more, but there was a strict limit.
3. "9:45 New York. National Collector's Mint releases 3487 of the last surviving Morgan Dollars still in existence..." notice the trick in language- I bet a lot of hillbillies watching this ad heard "the last 3487 in existence" and thought "I'd better snatch some of them up, once they're gone, they're gone." But because I have ears and critical thinking skills, I'm left with two questions- how many Morgan Dollars are actually still in existence, and how did you you come up with that number considering that we keep finding more?
4. "Condition is important, and all the Morgan Silver Dollars released are guaranteed to be in Brilliant Uncirculated to Fine Condition." More fun with language, kids! None of these coins are guaranteed to be Uncirculated, just "Uncirculated to Fine Condition." Who judges what "Uncirculated" means? Doesn't matter- all that's required is that the condition of your coin be "fine" for this ad to live up to this particular promise. And what does "fine" mean? Whatever this company wants it to mean.
5. "Over 320 million Morgan Dollars were melted during both World Wars....all were .77344 oz pure silver...." MORE fun with language, kids! So the government melted lots of coins, and those coins had a lot of silver. What does this have to do with the ad? Well, nothing, since the product for sale isn't a melted coin. How much silver is in the coins being offered today? Seems like that would be a good piece of information....which we aren't going to get, because we think we just got it with this blurb about coins which don't exist anymore.
6. "When Silver hit $50 an ounce, China was a poor nation. Now China is rich, and uses three times more silver!" Ok, now it's time to play Correlation v. Causation- except that the ad doesn't come out and claim that silver has anything to do with China's wealth, does it? So what's the point of this little nugget of not-history? I strongly suspect that it's just there to equate Silver=Rich in our little brains. And it's followed quickly by....
7. "Will this drive the price back up to $50 or even higher?" Well, apparently not. When this ad was made, in 2012, the price of silver was just under $21 per ounce. Today it's just over $17 per ounce. So if we take this ad's math to be accurate, once upon a time silver was selling at $50 per ounce. Then it dropped to $6 per ounce, then rose to almost $21, and now it's at $17 per ounce. Yeah, sounds like something I want to bank my retirement on.
I'm only a minute into this 108-second ad, and I've got to get back to work. I'll do a Part II next time.